Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Family Faith

Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian

This month, I attended our community’s prayer breakfast at the

Crescenta-Canada YMCA. The room was filled with 325 individuals

consisting of clergy and families. Ann Martin, KCBS Channel 2 news


anchorwoman, was mistress of ceremonies, and John Naber of 1976 Olympics

fame was the keynote speaker.

My heart was filled with comfort at the fact that people still care

about prayer. I surveyed the room, noting families sitting together.


At my table, a young boy sat with his parents. It warmed my heart to

see families taking the time to bring their children to such events,

instilling in them the importance of prayer.

Many of us have heard the old cliche, “The family that prays together,

stays together.”

There is more truth in that than we might give credit. I know

firsthand that prayer changes things. I have tested the power of prayer,

praying for individuals and circumstances, sometimes for years. I have


seen God move mightily in these instances.

Being a woman of faith, I recognize that it is in fact the hand of God

that has moved on behalf of my prayers. There is just no way that many

coincidences could occur in life.

Prayer is intimacy with God. Prayer helps cultivate the relationship

we have with our maker. Prayer is a direct line to heaven, where God

answers and meets our needs.

I pray daily -- several times a day. I pray for my family, my


community, other families, my church and our nation. I pray silently and

sometimes aloud.

Prayer is not a selfish resource. Prayer is seeking God’s face and his

will. Prayer means that you ask God to change your heart according to his

will, so that you can follow the desires of your heart.

This is a prayer I prayed at 21, a prayer that literally changed my

life. You see, God has three answers to prayer: yes, no, and wait. We

cannot blindly go to him asking him to answer our prayers the way we want

him to. Only he sees the future. Only he knows what is best for us. We

have to be willing to accept his will, acknowledging he is sovereign.

If not for prayer, my family would not be where it is. A great family

is not attained by perfection, but rather perseverance -- perseverance

through prayer. It is prayer that gets my husband and me through hard

times. It is prayer that directs me in how to raise my children. It is

prayer that always seems to meet our financial needs right when we need

them met.

It is the prayers of many, I believe, that has kept our community safe

thus far.

So I ask you, how often do you pray? Is it a part of your early

morning or bedtime ritual? Do you talk to the Father as you commute?

Shower? Do you teach your children the importance of prayer? When

circumstances are beyond our control, as they are now in our nation, we

need to pray. We need to more than ever.

Take-to-Heart Tips

Ways to develop prayer in your life

* Begin each morning in prayer. It can be as quick as 60 seconds.

* End each day praying with your children.

* Incorporate prayer into your meal times, telling other family

members how you saw God move in your life that day.

* Train your babies and toddlers. Take them outside and show them what

God has created. Teach them simple prayers such as “Thank you, God, for

the beautiful flowers and trees.”

* Teach your older children. Take them on prayer walks through our

community, praying for the homes and the families. Pray safety and

direction over each street and household.

* Pray for your kids before they go off to school each day.

* Be intimate in prayer with your mate. Set aside daily or weekly

prayer times to check in with each other. Confess and bring struggles to


* Pray for your extended family, friends and our community.

Prayer changes things. I know this firsthand. I believe our nation is

coming back to this truth.

* The Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian is a Glendale resident and founder and

president of Holy House Ministries. She is a speaker and author of family

issues. Her column, Family Faith, runs alternating Fridays. Contact her

by e-mail at; or by mail at Holy House Ministries c/o

the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, 9641 Tujunga Canyon Blvd., Tujunga, CA